Cougars edge Bears 7-5


CORTLAND, N.Y.—Kean University (7-1) held off the SUNY Potsdam men's lacrosse team (3-2) for 7-5 victory at SUNY Cortland's Chugger Davis Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore attackman Ed Doherty (Amherst, N.Y./Amherst) scored two goals and senior captain Rob Kunz (Watertown, N.Y./Immaculate Heart) recorded two assists to lead the Bears. Richard Cheifitz scored four goals to pace the Cougars.

Doherty got Potsdam started quickly, just 48 seconds into the contest, burying a feed from sophomore midfielder Pat Bonafede (Churchville, N.Y./Churchville-Chili). Brian Mills evened the score at the 10:55 mark and Matt Speciale gave Kean its first lead of the game at 8:29. Doherty knotted the score at 2-2 with a helper from Kunz two minutes later. Bonafede gave Potsdam its last lead at 3:40 of the opening quarter with an assist from freshman attack Matt Moran (Watertown, N.Y./Immaculate Heart). Cheifitz tied the score with eight seconds remaining and it was 3-3 after 15 minutes.

Cheifitz made it 4-3 with nearly seven minutes into the second quarter on a pass from Vincent Ferraro. With 1:52 left in the half, Moran got the Bears even on Kunz's second assist, but Cheifitz answered with just 22 seconds left to give the Cougars the lead for good. Potsdam tested Dino Vitale with several strong scoring chances before the half, but the Cougar goalie came away with four big stops.

The offenses were smothered in the third stanza. Only nine of the 20 shots attempted found their way to the net and only one eluded a goalie. Cheifitz notched his fourth at the 12:45 mark to make it a 6-4 Kean advantage. Vitale made three more stops and Bears senior goalie Ryan Duffy (Liverpool, N.Y./Liverpool) had his biggest quarter of the contest with five saves.

Speciale gave the Cougars their largest lead of the game at 7-4 with a tally just 1:13 into the final quarter. After the goal, Kean maintained control of the ball and ran the clock down. With 3:11 left in the game, freshman attackman Joe Hayes (Black River, N.Y./Carthage) scored an unassisted marker to get Potsdam within two, but the Bears were unable to get closer.

Duffy finished with 10 saves, while Vitale earned the win with eight stops. Kean outshot Potsdam 38-28 and totaled 35 ground balls to the Bears' 25. The Cougars were 0-3 in extra-man opportunities and Potsdam went 0-4.

The Bears look to bounce back next Wednesday, March 26, when they host Utica at 4 p.m.